Perfect Harmony

Carol Soucek King’s longtime Pasadena salon goes online to consider harmony in turbulent times.
Story by CARL KOZLOWSKI | Photos by CURTIS McELHINNEY (CurtisVision)
Published on Sep 10, 2020

Carol Soucek King. Credit: Curtis McElhinney

For nearly a quarter-century, Carol Soucek King has been hosting the monthly Sunday “Salon on the Spiritually Creative Life,” drawing an impressive array of artists, musicians, professors and architects to discuss topics designed to uplift their spirits. Up to 60 people were in the mix of attendees at Soucek King’s home Arroyo del Rey, a stunning residence resting upon several acres beneath the historic Colorado Street Bridge.

Of course, the pandemic lockdown has made it impossible to host the event in-person, so Soucek King has relocated it to the brave new world of Zoom since May. While this limits the magic of face-to-face togetherness and interaction that her salon is noted for, it has had the positive impact of opening the event to more newcomers and bringing viewers and speakers closer together visually, if not physically.

Her next event, on Sunday, Sept. 13, focuses on the theme of “Harmony” as explored in her book, Under the Bridges at Arroyo del Rey. The featured speaker is acclaimed Burbank artist/author/teacher Nan Rae who will discuss “The Harmony of Heaven and Earth: Understanding Chinese Paintings Through the Lens of Western Art.

The two-hour event will also include performances of “Meet Me There” from Ruth Broyde Sharone’s This is Who We Are: the Interfaith Musical, Nancy Glowacki singing “In This Garden” and Susie Katherine Shaw presenting “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

Nan Rae Credit: Curtis McElhinney

“Nan Rae is one of my great friends, a great artist who paints in Chinese brush style and teaches at The Huntington,” says Soucek King. “This is her third time speaking at my salon, and she is the embodiment of joy and gratitude and knowing that every moment is a blessing. Her art is a reflection of that belief, so to hear her speak about her art and what she’s learned from great Chinese artists is a wonderful, uplifting positive opportunity. She has a perspective on mankind and what we are to be doing on this planet that’s just marvelous.”

Rae will discuss her talk to the China Society in which she describes the harmonious and sublime connection to nature expressed by the literati of imperial China. She will explain the importance of allowing her ch’i (life force) to infuse her Chinese landscape paintings and read excerpts from her recently published book What If…We Have the Power to Change Our Lives (Laughing Elephant).

“I hope that people feel empowered by the harmony in the universe throughout the ages that does exist even though it can seem very difficult to see when we limit our vision and look at just one aspect of it or what we consider to be this moment in time,” says Soucek King. “It’s a scientific fact that everything in the universe is in harmony, so each of us can see it and reflect it–not just Nan painting her beautiful paintings that are so glorious, but everything each of us does can be in harmony. That’s what those two hours do for me. I get more out of it than anybody else.”

“The Salon on the Spiritually Creative Life” takes place from 10 a.m. to noon Sun. on Zoom, preceded at 9:30 a.m. by Janet Martorello playing Himalayan singing bowls. For login and password information, email Curtis McElhinney at


Make a Comment

  • (not be published)